Sunday, January 31, 2010

Skies Over Galente (Last Part)

"Bakit ako na lang lagi"

"Eh sino pang aasahan ko bukod sa akin?"

"Bakit yung isang anak mo parang walang pakialam sa mga nangyayari dito?"

There was a brief, brooding silence between the two people talking.

"Ganito na lang ba lagi, pasahan ng responsibilidad?"

"Napapagod rin naman ako mama eh."

The verbal tussle downstairs has come to an end. The maid and the driver apparently signed a truce and was ignoring each other's unacceptable behavior. Upstairs, inside the master's bedroom, amidst the darkened chamber partially bathed in light from a fluorescent desk lamp, surrounded by dust-covered books bearing witness to the fate of the household, two masters were having a dialogue about the issues shaping the landscape of the homeland in the days and weeks and months to come.

"Nakakapagod talaga pero ikaw ang eldest eh. Kung hindi ka gagalaw, paano tayo?"

"Matanda na ako and by now, you should know that I'm slowly passing all my responsibilities to you."

If only she understands I cannot do it on my own.

The third master wasn't aware of the drama unfolding that morning. Not that she doesn't care but she was merely out of the picture. It was the height of the cold war between siblings and she was intentionally left in the dark. Most grievances were accorded to her, and being a mother of two rival children, she tried to absorb the bullets in behalf of the utol.

"Dapat marealize niya na kapag may nangyari sa akin, lahat ng responsibilidad dadalhin niya."

"Kaya nga ako laging nagdadasal eh, hindi ko kayang mawala ang isa sa inyo."

In a family who have known the ups and downs of living, survival through our meager resources is what we have learned to live with. Two decades before, mom was the only one working for the family. Dad was the one fighting the injustices of society. Torches were passed from parents to children but the roles we play are still the same. Going back to my mom, through sheer hard work (she juggled so many jobs and still run the household by herself) and supreme sacrifice, (it was only lately that she started buying things for herself) mother was able to pull things through. These values, which I think I do not possess is the reason behind the demands for the utol to take some responsibilities.

It was a long twilight followed by an almost eternal daylight. The issue between masters was settled without another round of character assault against the utol. Bonds were strengthened between mother and son. The driver, after exhausting herself looking for the missing wallet found her peace in the sofa. It was the maid who covered her with a blanket. I would learn that morning she wouldn't drive mother to work anymore. She was too crushed to even pull herself together and ponder what's in store in the coming days. The utol went on with her life like nothing earth-shaking happened while she was peacefully asleep. Later that night, the first sign of reconciliation will happen between two siblings. A peace treaty would be signed in a few days.

The trauma would hit me badly that day. I wasn't able to perform well at work, specially when I realized a time would come when I will have to drive the car and shuttle my mom to work by myself. The ancient nightmares would drive me to the brink of madness. It was stopped down to its tracks by a quick trip to the gym. I felt better after. Though the nightmares still dread me everytime I feel strange about myself, I learned to live with it. Quietly. Life passes as time marches and what I pray for is to serve the loved ones before I too transits from this earth.

And as for the wallet, which became the bane of our existence for an entire day. Suffering would end that night after it was found inside a black shirt. The black shirt was the one worn by the driver as when she went out for a drink. The shirt was on her bedside the whole time and she claims of turning the place upside down but still didn't produce a missing wallet. Just like the Alicia Keys incident, one of her possessions got missing, only to emerge after lighting a candle to a relic of San Antonio in one of the altars at home.

The month has come to a close and the shrill of the air raid sirens could not be heard anymore. Peace was found in the realms of Galente, as swift as it was carelessly lost at the beginning of the year. Looking up to the sky, one would still find the searchlights



For in a life we have learned to live, serenity is a state of mind that must be flooded by artificial lights...

... skating across starless skies.

Deja Vu

Once, we held this belief that love springs from one night stands. It was a juvenile thought whose beginnings I could not even recall. We clung to the idea trusting intimacy shared lead to passionate endings: Cuddling assured a troubled spirit, screwing fused two people together, and a night-long skin contact leaves the body searching for the one it left. There is so much sharing - worded or otherwise - that can happen in a single night. And when the sun rises and the person you shared a bed and a blanket stays - after enduring a frosty night - an attachment is never far behind.

So many years have passed and we thought the fairy tale was dead. Believing it never really pointed to a happy ending. The result was the opposite. The first lover was a disaster and the second remains a nightmare. But we never learn. In the months following the day of freedom, intense loneliness and our desire to connect pushed us to embrace our longing by bringing a stranger home.

A friend warned that I am gambling the safety of my loved ones. First is I don't know a single real thing about the person and second, how am I certain my doors were flung open to a madman in disguise? It was a thought lapse on my part, which I admit drags us to the pits of danger. The homeworld also begins to feel dubious of the characters emerging from my room. Though they never said a word about it, actions speak distrust over my decisions.

The last who got the invitation was Mister Deja Vu. He was fun to be with so I thought of bringing him home to extend the hours of joy. He vowed never to incite the trappings of lust - a promise kept by Orion - the guy who stayed over before him. A deal was a deal, but come daybreak, I was awakened by his hand gently fondling my stiffy.

I didn't complain. Who are we to pretend we don't like it. So instead of grunting and whining, my hand flew over his crotch and began squeezing it as well.

He said he enjoyed my company and promised to keep contact so we could see each other again. True to his word, we exchanged greetings through text everyday. It was sweet. It could even take off and develop into something very serious. Words like "I miss you" and "take care" became part of our daily exchanges. It never happened in recent memory so I treasured every contact I had with him. However, one thing that will forever keep us apart is the truth that he's married and has a kid. With his kind of aggression, it wouldn't be a surprise if he kept other liaisons aside from me.

One would ask why I gambled in a game I knew I'd lose. My motives were simple: I thought we shared something in common and second, I wanted a more dominant person to lay beside me. The future never really caught my fancy. The week with him was almost idyllic. There were no pressures to get his attention and I wasn't too troubled by his other activities since no real attachment exists. As a gesture of goodwill, he never had rivals to distract my focus. He was the only one, and despite him being married, he made an effort to make me feel his other.

Had Mister Deja Vu been single, he would be a nice catch. Rain Darwin will disagree. You see, I introduced the guy to my groupies over the weekend. His reception could be described as lukewarm. Going back to Darwin, he was vocal about telling me how incompatible we are. Physically. Deja-vu reminded him of the ex, which I showed some pictures to my concerned friend before. Darwin's opposition was so intense that he went to great lengths to express his disapproval. "Huwag mo kalimutan pare, may dating ka." I know what he truly meant. Sometimes, alcohol reveals things we don't see when sober.

But Mister Deja-Vu have good qualities which makes him an ideal mate. He came from a good school and has a command of the language. Deja-vu is a hardworking joe who prefers staying at work for longer periods just to beat a deadline. In matters surrounding his sensitive side, I think he cares. He looks after the people he thought about, and his friendliness scored him some big points from my buddies.

Sadly, even good guys have flaws. Deja-vu guy has one, which, over the weekend made me realize he wasn't worth keeping. When I decided to bring him home, I grounded my decision not on the imminent lustful encounter, but on things we have in common. We love the same music, the same kind of movies shown on theaters, and perhaps we could even discover more. I never even bothered to ask whether he's a top or bottom because of my friendlier intentions.

Deja-vu guy, on the contrary, saw me in a different light. From the moment he first held my birdie - fondling it, touching it, cradling it like an infant on the palm of his hand, a day never passed when he would ask how my stiffy was doing. It was amusing at first. Thought of it as his way of breaking the ice. But when things got settled and still the condition of my snooty birdie was his way of reaching out to me, I began to doubt his motivations.

That's when things began to fall apart.

Friday. A week after our first meet-up, we decided to see again. It was a sleep-over, as promised but since friends were inviting to go out, I asked mister deja-vu if he would like to come along.

He agreed.

The introduction went well with friends, save for some troubles we encountered at a phone card station in Glorietta. The details are now too horrible to recount, but the saleslady saw the devil incarnate in me. I also saw what mister Deja vu looks like in his furious state. He can turn violent when left unchecked.

The night wore on, and second to Orion, other friends began to see the real karirista side of me. The Garahe folks welcomed him as my extension, even the buff daddy spoke to him while me and Buraot were discussing about his impressions with this new guy. Things went better after we called it a night, and for a moment, I thought we finally found a connection. Never before did I borrow money from a date but because I ran out of cash and he volunteered to pay the taxi bill in full even when I insisted of paying him back, that's when I thought that maybe, I will have to bend some rules to accommodate this guy.

"Mahihiya ka pa eh parang hindi naman ikaw kaiba." A slight jolt ran down my spine.

The moment between me and deja-vu began when bed time came. With carnal instincts guiding our every move, the act became less intimate and more savage. Thrice he tried a screw but I declined his insertions. We were doing it at home and the act will be bareback.

I will never take such risk.

I don't know if it was his turn-off, but after three rounds of forced orgasm using a clenched fist to pound the gear stick, it was all over between us. Every act of intimacy that came after was taken at face value. Feelings were becoming fleeting and attachment were all but just mechanical.

It was the end of the line and I know he must have felt it too.

A day has passed and contact between us became non-existent. There's no longing to send a text message knowing what I would be receiving is a message laced with phallic overtones. If he insists following this path, ditching would be a breeze. The boys of TC and the gentlemen from Encantos would have seen the last of him. Yet, no matter how brief our story is, mister deja vu will go down in history as the guy who broke the spell that makes one night stands ground for attachment. We have finally accepted that bonds seldom thrive beyond lust and feelings wither when men think of their fellow merely as playthings.

Epiphany tells there's no serendipity in our encounter.

A time has come to move on.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Chickboy Strain

Anim kaming lalaki sa barkada. Ang una ay pumanaw na ngunit nag-iwan ito ng biyuda at isang anak na lalaki. Ang pangalawa ay sinamahan ko manligaw sa isang ka-trabaho three years ago. Ngayon ay engaged na sila at sa December ang kasal. Ang ikatlo ay napabalitang nagkaroon ng affair sa isang may asawa. Alam naming tsismis lang ang lahat. Ang ikaapat ang tinagurian naming perfect bachelor. Palibhasa'y tall, dark and handsome at maganda ang propesyon kaya madaling nakaka-hook up ng mga babae. Ang ikalima ay hindi pa nagkakaroon ng girlfriend simula pagkabata. Marami ang naghihinala na isa siyang tagong bading. Ang ikaanim ang opisyal na bading sa grupo. Ngunit dahil tigasin itong kumilos, paniwala ng barkada ay confused lang ito.

Kung alam lang nila ang buong katotohanan.

Minsan ay napadalaw sa bahay si pangalawa upang hiramin ang college album ng barkada. Kasama niya si fiancée at mukhang galing sa date ang dalawa. Napag-usapan si ex-girlfriend at ang bulung-bulungang closeness naming dalawa. Sabi ko ay pawang harutan lang yun. Alam naman niyang hindi ako straight. Kung malalim man ang pinagsamahan namin, iyon ay dahil higit sa pagiging girlfriend ay naging magbestfriend kami. Ang pag-ibig ay nadevelop hindi dahil sa physical attraction kundi dahil sa companionship na inoffer namin sa isa't-isa.

Napunta ang usapan sa isang katropa na kahit kailan ay hindi nagkaroon ng girlfriend. Palibhasa'y masyado itong "soft-spoken" kaya hinala ng lahat ay nagtatago ito sa closet. Hindi rin nakatulong ang kanyang pagiging movie buff at pagiging madikitin sa mga babae. Sablay rin ito sa diskarteng panliligaw. Napabalitang binigyan ito ng blind date noon ng isa naming kaibigan. Subalit dahil walang maikuwentong may sense ang binata, nagtinginan lang sa dinner table ang dalawa.

Ipinaliwanag ko kay ikalawa ang kahinaan ni ikalima. Una sa lahat, naghahanap ang babae ng security sa company ng isang lalaki. Mabigo ang lalaki sa pagbibigay nito at tiyak na matu turn-off ang babae. Sumang-ayon sa akin ang kanyang fiancée. Sa kaso ni ikalima na horizontally at vertically challenged, ang kanyang pagiging soft-spoken ang ultimate give-away para siya i-bully ng ibang lalaki.

Malaking factor rin ang pagiging gentleman.

Nasa second year college ako noon nang may naging kaibigan isang magandang babe sa aming section. Palibhasa'y walang kamuwang-muwang sa takbo ng isip ng mga babae kaya't binigyan niya ako ng pointers kung paano maging gentleman. Dapat daw ay laging nasa danger side ng kalye ang lalaki kapag may kasamang itong babae. Never daw hinahayaang umuwi mag-isa ng bahay ang babae lalo na't malalim na ang gabi. Sa pagsakay sa sasakyan, laging pinapauna ang babae. Ito ay para sakali mang umandar ang jeep o bus o kotse ay may sasalo sa babaeng maaksidente. Marami pa siyang naituro sa akin, na ngayon ay bahagi na ng pagkatao ko. Sayang nga lamang at hindi sila nagtagal ng mga katropa kong kanyang pinalakad sa akin.

Gaya ng mga lalaki, ang mga babae ay may libog rin sa katawan. Its human to be sexual. Subalit ang mga tao ay may kanya-kanyang values. Iba't ibang approaches ang kailangan upang madiskubre ang kahinaang tinatago ng bawat isa. I for one is a natural flirt. Sanay ang dila ko sa bolahan. Sabi ng ex-girlfriend ko, kung babae lang daw ako ay tiyak sangkatutak na ang naging boyfriends ko. Mabuti't hindi nagkatotoo ang kanyang pangitain. Sa aking huling bilang, tatlo pa rin ang naging karelasyon ko.

Going back to the topic, the best pa rin kung may kasamang alcohol ang pambobola. Mahilig akong mag-shower ng complements, lalo na kapag medyo sexy ang damit na suot ng tsik. (kahit mataba pa ito) Women are vain when it comes to their looks. Sobra! Sabihan mo ang isang chick na sexy kahit may baby fats ito sa katawan at tiyak ikaw na ang bestfriend niya.

Kailangang may kasamang attitude ang pagiging flirtatious.
Seductive ka nga pero kung hindi mo naman kayang dalhin ang iyong sarili ay parang wala rin. Girls love to win, at kung secure ka sa pagkalalaki mo, you let them have the wheel. Never akong nagduda sa diskarte ng babae. Kasi, at the end of the day, kung talagang kilala mo ang sarili mo at confident ka sa mga kilos mo, sa iyo pa rin hihingi ng affirmation ang babaeng biniyayaan mo ng kapangyarihan.

Lastly, gaano man kabarumbado ang isang lalaki, hindi ito magkakaroon ng soft spot sa mga babae kung wala itong sensitive side. Ano ang mapapala ng kaalaman mo sa comics or sa video games o kaya sa mga cartoons at gadgets kung hindi mo kayang intindihin ang needs for affection ng chick na kasa-kasama mo? I guess one reason bakit bentang-benta ako sa mga single na mga nanay ay dahil mas pinagtutuunan ko ng pansin ang kanilang mga panganay. Sayang nga eh, sana ako na lang yung naging tatay. Sensitivity and aggression go side by side in getting a woman's attention. They wanted to be treated equals yet they deserve to be protected in ways only a man can provide. Siguro, kaya successful sa relationship yung tropa ko na engaged na ay dahil despite his chauvinistic leanings when we were young, he eventually earned not to underestimate his girlfriend.

It's sad that I know these things, and can easily beat a straight guy when it comes to winning a chick. Kaso, dumating sa point na kinailangan ko na rin ang security at companionship ng mas nakakalalaki sa akin kaya hayun, nakikikumpitensya na rin ako sa mga babae.

Hindi ko alam kung may mga babae na nagbabasa ng blog ko, but this is how I believe women think. Maaring ito ay totoo. Maari rin naman na hindi. Pero kung may isang bagay na napakahalaga pagdating sa love, what matters really is how you understand and accept the person you vow to stay for life.

Yun ang essence ng isang relationship.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Great Equalizer

An MSN conversation

J.Galen says:

to make sure Alfredo and Thalia
remembers how to be [agents of the assigned account]
if the body permits

Note: Alfredo and Thalia are from the morning shift. Conversation took place when I was assigned to the graveyard. Overtime work would make the Throatie problem worse.

The Babaylan of Popocatépetl says:
remember (kc plural)
ahhhh ok
i suggest u dont

J.Galen says:

The Babaylan of Popocatépetl says:
u get some rest

J.Galen says:
thank you

The Babaylan of Popocatépetl says:
cge bebe relax lang
u r doing good

The Babaylan of Popocatépetl says:
gnyt and byeee

J.Galen says:

The job requires my presence across three shifts. It means I could jump from morning to graveyard shift in the course of one week. Of all the people belonging to the management, only the special campaign manager - my supervisor - exceeds my exposure to the agents. I report directly to her. My job is to train people for the special campaign. I do floor walks to ensure the new agents follow exactly the clients instructions. I work independently from Team Leaders, but for a job position where anyone could do the work assigned to me, the line of authority becomes blurry.

I began as an agent reporting to a team leader. I was often assigned to be the centre's front- liner when new accounts were introduced. Sheltered from management responsibilities for a long time, the sudden promotion to leadership left me unprepared to handle a team. It was probably instincts that helped me accomplish the task. The passage from a temporary position to a place of higher responsibility took a heavy toll on my life. On weekdays, contact with the outside world becomes non-existent. I stay in the office longer than most people do. I had to give up part of my sentience, so I would become permanently aware of everything that is happening to the special campaign.

My superior once said - in passing - that she is grooming me to take her place. I don't know if she was merely trying to see my reaction, but the thought terrifies me. For someone who seldom speaks his thoughts during meetings, I don't think I'm ready for the job. The assistant team leader who took a leave of absence when I became her OIC better fits the job position. I'd be very inspired to work under her.

Strained by work-related thoughts and forced to earn bigger for the survival of a home land, the need to find a new workplace forces me to abandon the very thing I am most passionate about. The goodwill of the boss is with me and so is with my superior. It puts a heavy burden in my decision.

Satisfaction elsewhere being considered, I ask myself, am I truly ready to move on or should I quietly stay and endure this burnout?

Being on top of their promotion, Thalia and Alfredo received a refresher during their shift. Training was informal and most of the interaction was done at home. When I return to work, I will review Alfredo's performance. Aside from being a trainer, I do QA work.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Emissary

December 14, 2009

The Technohub affair has opened new doors to many worlds. Challenging the old order, the emissary sent to IBM-Daksh may have failed to secure the job offer. It was a dry-run: a portent of things to come. It's been a year since I turned down the offer at Boardex. A business data management company that offers unimaginable perks to its workers. I gave the slot to a close friend who accepted the job and thrived in that company. Now that the pressures to earn bigger is affecting my well-being, and the frustrations at work are mounting with each passing day, emissaries are given instructions to seek new lands so that one day, those who will survive the journey may find themselves in a better place.

Pinoyexchange, JobMarket - Reading job ads have given me the courage to exchange letters with head-hunters. Some were kind enough to answer my inquiries, while others never write back, even when recognition of an emissary was what I merely seek. There are many reasons for this move. Reasons that will be revealed in time. But when the home front is suffering from massive losses, (The United Nations has just announced an immediate transfer of funds from its emergency reserves to its central treasury) there is reason to panic.

The utol claims she has this English tutoring job that will start next week. Thank God for Koreans! Celebrations would stretch until mid-week until I learned, from mother, that it was only part time work. Say bye-bye to homeland security. At times, I cannot understand why people around could not see the urgency. Good thing, I share these trappings of responsibility and frustrations over our siblings with a gym buddy.

"Kaya naman namin mabuhay kung lahat kami nagtratrabaho eh." El Tigre confided.

"Pero ganun talaga eh, tayo lang talaga ang kumakayod bukod sa mga nanay natin." I sighed.

There was no turning back.

Escorted by two emissaries, I went to Makati to deliver my credentials to a call center known as kgb_. The entrance test was easy and so was the interview. The proctor was a source of inspiration. He's this dark-skinned guy with small eyes, (and he shares my nickname) and when I found myself in a familiar terrain, (the exam was about current events, US and UK geography and culture) I thought I found my niche. However, when they said that I'd be paid a sum slightly higher than what I'm receiving, I had no choice but to leave my emissary behind.

Directory Assistance Agent
300-400 calls every day
Below 15K monthly compensation
I smell a floor with high attrition rates.

"Are you sure you want to return to the rank and file position?" The interviewer asked.

If she only knew, my paycheck still says I belong to the rank and file category.

The side streets between Ayala and Buendia were a little less serene when I passed by going to the bus station. Day shift workers were rushing to arrive at their destination, while call center agents leaving their offices converged in groups to smoke and discuss the affairs of the night. The barkers were luring people to board their half-empty mega-taxis, but people just lurched forward - like they never saw anyone but themselves.

I was asked to go on a graveyard shift this week. With no superior looking after my back, I'd take all chances to send as much emissaries as possible.

In hopes that one of them will get noticed.

My wish is one of them will land me a better job.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rain - Child

you are the gentle drizzle
dampening my parched skin.

keeping you in my thoughts, old friend.

I will drop by your place
one of these days.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Full Circle

Ngunit habang kami ay nagsasayaw sa dilim
at magkayakap ng mahigpit. Sa kanyang mga
ngiti at pagkuyumos ng aming mga labi ay
ramdam ko ang kanyang saya sa
pagkakaroon ng kasama.

Kahit pa ito'y isang pangmagdamagan lang.

Darkstar: Joms ang tanga tanga mo talaga!

Joms: Alam ko, and I am so proud of my stupidity.

Mugen: Haha Pucha under one minute, nakahanap ka kaagad ng karir pagkapasok mo sa loob ng Che'Lu. Sinong mag-aakalang ganito ka na kabangis ngayon.

Joms: Kaya nga matindi rin ang control ko eh. Alam ko kung ano ang potentials ko... matagal na.

Pulsar: Ano ba talaga ang nangyari. Magkwento ka naman for the sake na may pag-uusapan tayo.

Joms: Ganito yun mga parekoy. Sinamahan ko yung mga tropa ko mag-Malate kasi daw matagal na silang hindi nakakabalik dun. Nagmagandang-loob lang naman ako dahil sa kanilang lahat, ako lang talaga ang hindi nawalan ng connection sa lugar. In fact, karamihan nga ng mga ka-generation namin ay bathouse at massage parlors na ang pinupuntahan eh. Just for old time sake, I went to Malate and brought them with me.

Pulsar: Okay. Bakit ka sinabihan ng tanga ni Darkstar?

Joms: As usual, balik ako sa dating hang-out. Nagkataon naman na habang papunta kami sa dance floor ay may na-ispatan akong lalaking pasok na pasok sa trip ko.

Mugen: Nagkataon na trip rin niya si Joms. We could see it in his eyes.

Pulsar: Mind describing this guy to me?

Joms: Ordinary guy lang siya sa standards ng marami. Mga 5'6 ang tangkad, payat at kayumanggi ang kulay ng balat. Naka-cap siya na white at yellow ang suot niyang polo.

Pulsar: So anong nakita mo dito sa binata at bakit mo siya nagustuhan?

Darkstar: Ako na ang sasagot para kay Joms. Gaya ng mga natritripan niya, he stands out among the crowd. Mukhang sanggano. May goatie na, may soul patch pa sa mukha. Mapungay ang kanyang mga mata at sa tindig pa lang ay alam mong barako siya.

Mugen: Yeah. Rugged type ang gusto ni Joms eh, and he very much fitted into his ideal guy.

Pulsar: Gaya ni Bamboo-looking guy at ni boylet from last time?

Joms: Oo. Ewan ko ba bakit may fetish ako sa mga lalaki na mukhang muslim. Kulang na lang ay bentahan niya ako ng dibidi eh.

Darkstar: Matangos kasi ang ilong kaya ka baliw sa kanya.

Pulsar: So anong nangyari pagkatapos.

Joms: Obviously gusto namin ang isa't isa. Pero dude, I swear, hindi ako sasama ang loob kung mapupunta siya kay Nate, yung isa kong tropa. Nung una nga, sila ang gusto kong i-pair eh.

Darkstar: Kaso mo, kay Joms siya pumunta. Si Joms rin ang unang nagpakita ng interest sa kanya.

Mugen: To continue the story, nagsayaw sila for around two hours. Walang palitan ng partner yun ha. At mind you, close dancing ito. I wouldn't be surprised if they brushed each other's skin dahil dun.

Darkstar: Which is what they actually did. Grabe. Ang sarap sana halikan ng chest nung guy. Balbon kasi. Arghhh!! Bakit ba kasi ngayon pa naging torpe si Joms eh.

Pulsar: Is that all that happened?

Joms: Ah eh..

Darkstar: To continue the story. Masikip sa loob ng dance floor. Nagkataon na umatake na naman ang pagiging knight in shining armor nitong kupal nating kaibigan kaya hayun, feeling protected ang lalaki. Sa lapad ba naman ni Joms, literal na binakuran niya si binata habang sayaw lang ng sayaw ang lalaki. Naghubad pa nga siya ng damit eventually eh.

Mugen: Habang si Joms naman ang nalamog sa lahat ng mga dumaraan. Ewan ko na lang, if some guy did that to him, hindi rin ako magtataka na lumambot talaga ang puso niya sa taong ito.

Darkstar: Which I think is what really happened. Even toughies would appreciate being protected when they feel vulnerable. It's human nature.

Joms: How I wish someone would do that to me. Pero sadya atang ako ang laging mahilig tumapat sa line of fire eh.

Pulsar: Any violations you did? Tahimik si Dominus. Something naughty must have happened.

Joms: Ni-lips to lips ko yung guy. Masyadong tense ang aming sayawan eh, bumigay ako.

Darkstar: Ni-lips to lips nga, daig pa si Maria Clara sa pagiging mahinhin humalik. Haay.

Joms: Alam ko na hesitant siya sa kanyang gagawin. He's trying to show a very masculine image to everyone eh. Tingin mo ba, bakit naghubad ako ng damit kasabay niya nung nagsasayaw kami?

Pulsar: Bakit nga ba??

Joms: Dahil ayaw ko siyang mapag-isa. Isa pa, I don't want to appear na subordinate sa kanya no? Even if my chest, I think, is still sagging, my shoulders and my back could compensate for my shortcomings.

Pulsar: Now that we have established that something did happen, did it end up elsewhere?

Mugen: Unfortunately no.

Darkstar: Sayang. Chance ko na yun para may matikmang bago.

Under 1 Minute
April 26, 2008

The italics reveal the parallels between a guy I came across many years ago and a serendipitous encounter with someone on the dance floor last night. They have the same looks: They also share the same attitude, which, made it hard not to remember the one I deserted. He is missed, and in many nights I return to the same ground where we danced and kissed and cuddled before, it is my wish to see him again.

"Alam mo pare, parang na-meet na kita dati."

"Honga eh, ganun rin nararamdaman ko."

"Masaya ako at nakita kita dito." Finally he out blurted after we got comfortable with each other.

If reincarnation exists, this is the closest thing to ever feeling a deja-vu.

Two hours is a very short time to rekindle a bond. A night is not enough to know a person you once desired.

Breaking all rules of engagement.

And because of this human longing for someone to be with

after an eternity of searching.

I brought him home, finally, to sleep beside me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Peace In Our Time

The clash began during the first hours of the new year. It was an insensitive remark that started it all. Like two superpowers in the brink of war, they shoved their ideologies to everyone while refuting the others. Before, it was an uneasy stalemate until one tried to impose his will on the other. The other resisted. She was not ready to give up her way of life. The antagonist forewarned. Funds are running low and help is needed to keep the household afloat. She was unperturbed. Her response left him troubled. The issue would have died down with the onset of sleep. However, an accidental Achilles Heel was discovered. It was exploited and was used against her. In the end, she was crushed by his blunt remark. The weapon of choice: vanity assault. He knew it would cause despair when her pimples get the spotlight. Ladies of all creed do get alarmed when their looks get questioned. Aiming at the heart of her distorted awareness, he went overboard to deliver the final blow.

"Yang mukha mong tadtad ng tigidig. Paano ka pa makakapagpaderma niyan eh wala na tayong pera?"

"Yuck! Ang pangit pangit mo na!!" I scored a direct hit.

It was all lies, and yet the message cut deep. Believing every word I said. She was depressed the whole week.

And I was disowned by my sister.

The period of mourning lasted for several days. After the narcissistic holocaust, the ice age came after. No words were spoken. Eyes could not meet everytime we see each other. There were nights she would sleep elsewhere. Her excuse were the meetings her brethren carried out to ensure the victory of her party. Her absence stirred more hostility. Leaving me with a worried mother who sleeps just before daybreak, a maid and a driver, a cat, a dog and a bunny, all to look after, while juggling a ten-hour job made a martyr out of me. When there were occasions to loathe her accomplishments, ears were thrilled to hear my discontent. Her presence and actions were merely tolerated (and grumbled in secret) because she is a master of the house.

Besides, she has the backing of the United Nations.

I was spreading strife and turmoil without her knowledge. Every decision she did (like hosting a meal to a number of comrades leaving us with almost nothing to eat) was condemned. I was ready to disown the utol and to make the vengeance sweeter, recognize the half-brother instead. He is reaping more accomplishments. (like getting his own PSP from his own salary) The half-brother deserves another entry. But to compare him with the utol, at least, he brings home organic rice for the matriarch.

Relationship between siblings would remain strained, if not for the events concluding the Skies Over Galente entry. To cut the story short, I arrived late that night. Drained from the pressures at home and work, there was joy in learning that the crisis has been resolved. Utol was at home too, in my room and doing some paperworks using my computer. The correspondence she was writing was for her comrades. During ordinary days, I would simply drive her out without much fuss over the issue. But in days when hell was easy to let loose, restraint must be applied in the name of peace. There was an overwhelming feeling of euphoria and in the spirit of accommodation, I let the utol finish her work after humbly requesting for an extension.

The wall of ice began to thaw.

Two days later, I learned that the utol will undergo a surgery. A tooth causing chronic infection had to be extracted beneath her gums. It was a complicated procedure, my mom said, and to assure my sister that everything will be fine. Our favorite aunt volunteered to accompany her to the dentist.

Unfortunately for her, the favorite aunt called and told my mother she could not make it because of an urgent meeting.

Unfortunately for me, I had to give up sleep to accompany the utol because our mother hardly ever gets up at seven in the morning. Her frailty couldn't bear the stress.

So the burden was passed unto me. The night before the surgery, utol arrived late from her meeting. I was holding back my temper for I knew, my waking hours will be stretched beyond its limits. You see, after her surgery which I expect to last for three hours, I have to be at work by 2 pm. Shift will be over by 10 in the evening but I have to be back by 6 the following morning for the training of new agents. Even the alone time was taken out from the schedule while she will get to sleep, which I badly needed.

The six hours' worth of snooze might have doused the temper, but grumpiness had settled again when the utol tried to rouse me from sleep. I didn't take a bath nor bothered to fix the bed as a hint of dissent. Mother was complaining of chest pains but I merely said to take her pills. Utol can barely speak and her eyes were drowned with uncertainty. Anxiety was brooding, I can tell. But as to why the mother and daughter tandem was acting strange that morning, the answer lies at the procedure before the surgery.


I maybe too numbed to share their worries, but I feel the urgency to lend a hand and ease someone's fear. Before we left the house, mother told me to show some compassion to my sister. I didn't pay attention to what she said and instead, merely told her I'd text when we arrive at the clinic.

But things were exactly opposite inside the cab.

Realizing our fraternal bonds: the fundamental truth that we can only count on each other in days of distress: and that the homeworld shall never know peace as long as we're divided, I stretched my arms to wrap around utol's shoulders.

"Kuya sorry," She said.

"It's alright. Higa ka sa shoulders ko."

"Tulog ka muna. Everything will be alright."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Price

I know he will get very far.
And I know I will be left behind.

But that is love.

I willingly sacrificed myself
so he will have a life far better than mine.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Quality Time


Would you waste your precious time spraying seeds all over your right hand after doing three rounds of self-pleasure?


You struck a bargain and brought four DVDs from Quiapo this evening. The porn actors were gym-fit Latinos in their mid-twenties. (and it turned you on after learning the tops barebacked their bottoms) Three of these DVDs you've already played, (and replayed) while the one that didn't work found its way to the trash bin. You did this without much thought about the 100 pesos you spent expanding your porn library.


Now you say there are better ways to spend your remaining hours before bedtime than wasting it on playing Galactic Civilizations, (while jacking-off during intermission) which you can never finish in one sitting. You could have written the final part of your previous entry (which takes two hours to finish) or headed straight to dreamland without waiting for the clock to strike twelve. (which is your official bedtime)



How did you spend your five hours of liberation.

Times up.

Its almost past your bedtime.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Skies Over Galente (First Part)

The shrill of the air raid siren was heard around the house.

It was three in the morning. Less than two hours after finally getting some sleep, I was rudely awakened by my mother's text message. She said someone opened the door. Thinking it was the unseen guest who left her door ajar, I decided to get out of bed to dispel her alarm. It turned out, her door was shut tight but the lights downstairs were switched on. Probably it was the utol having difficulty getting some sleep. I entered the master's bedroom to check on my mom. I wanted to tell her there's nothing to worry about. But before I was able to deliver the words of assurance, we heard some shouting coming from the kitchen. It was the maid and the driver having an argument. The last time a spat erupted between the two, it lead to an all-female fist fight. Of course, it was the maid who was beaten and she cried the whole day. Because the affairs of the home was disrupted for several days, we learned we could not afford hosting such brawl again.

Unless it would get uploaded on YouTube.

So I went down to attempt an intervention. The maid was spewing expletives while the driver sobbed somewhere inside their small room. Asking what the fuss was all about, I received not a single reply. The verbal tussle went on while the loud banging of the cabinet hints someone will leave the house before day break arrives. I returned to the master's bedroom to deliver the news. With a blank face, I told mother about the commotion. She was visibly distraught but I tried to downplay the situation. My plan was to sleep through the tense minutes and let the conflict resolve by itself. Mother warned me that if I would not make a move, she would be forced to talk to the helpers herself. It means getting out of bed and limping all the way down to pacify the ladies.

The effort would strain her already frail body.

Choosing between her discomfort and my reluctance to be the peacemaker, I resolved to take matters into my own hands.

But before leaving her room, I carelessly left a remark which would become our bone of contention before the night was over.

"Bakit ako na lang lagi..."

I returned to ground zero to find the driver searching for something. Drawers were overturned - their contents spread across the dining table. She was on all fours, looking under the chairs. Muted sobs reveal her state of agony. The maid was standing from a distance. Her dagger-like eyes fixed on the slurry driver still barging from one room to the next. Her patience wears thin - like most of us who were interrupted from our sleep - but the driver was inconsolable. Unless she finds what's missing, she will never rest.

Learning what happened, the maid said the driver sneaked out for a drink before midnight. Returning home intoxicated, the lesbian thought she could get away with the crime. Accounting her personal belongings before going to bed, she was astonished to find out her wallet was missing. That's what triggered the witch hunt. Though there were no direct reference to stealing, she insisted of bringing home the wallet. As to why the wallet was so important to her, the driver would never tell. Her savings was kept somewhere and the license could have a replacement in days.

I tried to calm her down to no avail. Her thoughts was so focused to finding what's missing. Instead of wasting my time with the drunken bastard, I instructed the maid to chill out and ignore her companion. "Nobody argues with a drunk person" I explained. "If you continue to fight over this, someone upstairs might get a heart attack."

My warning apparently calmed her fury.

The conflict downstairs was slowly losing steam, but the words I left before becoming the peacemaker had struck a chord with my mother.


Sunday, January 17, 2010


"Your excellency, enemy forces have broken through our defense line. Field commanders are reporting advances in all major fronts."

"What else have they told you Muguezio?"

"Should we decide not to activate our civilian reserves, Forces under General Alderaan will reach the capital before spring."

Staring blankly at the huge portrait of his predecessor, the Kaiser appears drowning in deep thoughts. Half of his army was lost during the disastrous winter offensive and the rest have either surrendered or declared missing by their officers.

Behind the bunker where the military briefing is taking place, weary palace guards try to shield their thoughts of an imminent capitulation. All their allies have accepted the unconditional truce imposed by the enemy. Their cities now ruined by the war started by the Kaiser himself many years ago.

"I never thought it would come to this," says the Kaiser still gazing at the portrait. The huge painting in front of him belongs to Chancellor Proximus. The leader known for pulling the country out of depression after it lost the war against the Tuozo.

"And there is no turning back. What are your orders your excellency?"

From a distance, the gleaming search lights scouring the skies of his capital seem to resist the collective feeling of dread. Its government maintains strict censure and news of defeat hardly reaches the homes of its citizens. Only the steady flow of wounded soldiers and refugees give hint of what lies beyond. Not even the civilian servants are allowed to leave without the Kaiser's direct permission. Death of one's family is the punishment for such abandonment.

"Make sure the AA Batteries are armed and ready. Keep the defenders alert at all times. I don't want enemy bombers swooping down on the capital just when people are sleeping. We have been spared in the past but luck may not be on our side tomorrow.

"Shall we make plans to evacuate the city sir... er... Kaiser?"

"No. Everyone will stay inside their homes including women and children. No civilian will be granted passage out of the capital.

"Would that your orders your excellency." The aid was visibly disturbed with the Kaiser's decision.

"Tell the commander of the homeland defense to position his men away from the cities under our control. Military production has long been kept underground so we don't have to worry protecting them."

"And by the way, if you're wondering what these changes are all about..." The Kaiser turned around to face his aide.

"I've already a sent word that we shall not bring this war to the capital. There is no need for the citizens to suffer more because of me."

"Permission to speak Kaiser, but I don't understand what you mean." The aide had to clear his throat before he was able to utter a word.

"The batteries are in place should the enemy not honor my word. That's my assurance of destruction if they attack the city. But the truth is, the enemy is not coming after you."

"They are only after me."

Fearing the ancient nightmares on the march again.
The body feverish.
The head hurts.
No one will know
But Im letting this off my chest.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Holding Down The Line

Tonight, I will spend the sleepless hours looking after:

A depressed mother
A missing utol
A lesbian driver who probably skipped her dinner this evening.
A lanky maid who stays longer at the neighbor's corner store than in our kitchen
A five year old dog curled on a rug behind the big wooden door
A yellow striped cat nursing her 5 day old kittens
A grey bunny hopping inside a Balikbayan box.

Went to the master's bedroom to check its occupant. Found her under the sheets. She was peacefully asleep. The TV was on and the screen splashed macabre scenes replayed on SOCO. Quietly, I switched on the desk lamp and turned off the fluorescent light. Before going to my room to write this entry, I changed the channel from ABS-CBN to Cartoon Network hoping mother will chance upon her second childhood with reruns of Powerpuff Girls when she wakes up in the morning.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

To Be An Ayiti

I am born an Ayiti.

My land was once a flourishing kingdom before the white people came. A Spaniard named Christopher Columbus met my ancestors, the Tainos in the spirit of peace. We thought they were mere explorers from a distant land. We welcomed them to our homes and let them rest before sending off to their journey.

But we were deceived.

They built towns to set a lasting foothold. Their people came in large droves, in ships bristling with armaments never before seen. They began encroaching on our lands. They brought pestilence and disease and war and religion. Our civilization was destroyed in a matter of years. Our way of life replaced by their habits and customs. Our treasures carried away to decorate palaces we never knew. And finally our children were taught and converted to their beliefs so they will never know the proud people we were.

Empires rise and fall and like throwaway properties fit for a barter, we were traded for peace between two warring lords. The new masters have arrived and our enslavement soared to new heights of brutality. We were treated like animals in the name of expediency. As a conquered people, we can do nothing but obey. Change came when a bloody revolution shook the old order of things. With the dauphin meeting his fate under the guillotine, we took their revolutions to our lands and set ourselves free.

At a price of our own blood.

We were known as the only nation to win a slave rebellion against our masters. Our fire licked the spirits of the vanquished peoples and they too, have won their freedom. We were seen as the first among the liberators and we earned the world's admiration because of what we did. But the world never knew our darkest secret. While they fought wars to emancipate themselves from slavery, we were culling our own downfall by putting our chieftains to the places our masters once held.

Redemption came too late. We have already inherited the souls of our conquerors and this time, it was us who pillaged our own tribe.

A hundred years is not enough to undo the errors of the past. We never learned the lessons history was trying to teach us. We exchanged one master with another only to plunge us into deeper depths of despair. There was Papa Doc* who rained down misery using his undead soldiers. His reign of terror for a quarter of a century led most of our brighter minds to flee and live in lands we once freed. Our soldiers wrought change with their own hands and we have seen so many bloodshed and so many dissapointing upheavals that we have almost lost faith in ourselves.

Now the world sees us as the most miserable people who have ever lived. The once mighty kingdom we had, now crumbles under intense regret from all the mistakes we did. We are despised by our wealthier neighbor,** the people we once tried to conquer and bring under our heels. With our lands ravaged by years of relentless exploitation, our people dying of hunger*** and our safekeeping entrusted to far-flung nations some of us never knew****, we have become too broken to even dream of tomorrow.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Dazed survivors wandered past dead bodies in rubble-strewn streets Wednesday, crying for loved ones, and rescuers searched collapsed buildings as officials feared the death toll from Haiti's devastating earthquake could reach into the tens of thousands.

The first cargo planes with food, water, medical supplies, shelter and sniffer dogs headed to the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation a day after the magnitude-7 quake flattened much of the capital of 2 million people.

Tuesday's earthquake brought down buildings great and small — from shacks in shantytowns to President Rene Preval's gleaming white National Palace, where a dome tilted ominously above the manicured grounds.

Hospitals, schools and the main prison collapsed. The capital's Roman Catholic archbishop was killed when his office and the main cathedral fell. The head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission was missing in the ruins of the organization's multistory headquarters.

Yahoo! News
Tens of Thousands Feared Dead After Haitian Quake

January 10, 2010

Remember us and remember our history, for our fate might have been very well yours.

* Francois Duvalier (1957-1974) President of Haiti. Declared himself Ruler for Life. His regime was marked by autocracy, corruption and state sponsored terrorism through his private army known as Tonton Macoutes. It has been estimated that he was directly responsible for 30,000 deaths and the exile of all intellectual Haitian to other countries.

** Dominican Republic. Shares a land border with Haiti. Second largest economy in the Carribean. Suffers greatly from Haitian illegal immigration.

*** Haiti consumes a large variety of different non-traditional foods in an attempt to quench hunger pains. Mud cakes are traditionally fashioned and consumed, but items such as clay and chalk can also be eaten. Due to recent increases in food prices and growing starvation in Haiti, this habit has been extended and received much media attention.

**** United Nations Stabilization Mission In Haiti (MINUSTAH) comprises a 7000 strength force led by Brazil and backed up by Argentina, Chile, Jordan, Morocco, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, Spain, Sri Lanka and Uruguay

May they find peace in this most difficult of times.
Photos from Time.Com

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Client Liaison

Fullmetal Dreams
April 20, 2008

Ilang taon sa panibago kong buhay.

Nabigyan ng pagkakataon ang kumpanyang pinagtratrabahuhan ko na lalo pang lumago sa pagpasok ng isang napakalaking account. Bahagi ng kasunduan sa pagitan ng aking kumpanya at ng kliyente ang panimulang turn-over ng dalawang sub-service kung saan karanasan na ang sumanay sa akin. Bilang isa sa pinakamatagal na sa kumpanya, napili ako bilang maging frontliners sa bagong account. Noong briefing na naganap isang linggo na ang nakalipas, paulit-ulit na pinaalala ng trainer na nakasalalay sa aming husay ang pagpasok ng iba pang mga sub-service sa aming centre.

Sakaling kami'y magtagumpay, hindi lamang kami ang makikinabang kundi pati rin ang iba pa naming mga kasamahan na sa ngayo'y nag-aabang ng mga account na maaring magpalago ng kanilang sweldo.

There's so much at stake, and when I think about it, its enormousness makes me tremble.

Inamin sa akin ni Princess na kinakabahan siya sa bagong assignment. Ganun rin ang pakiramdam ko matapos ang aming briefing.

Ngunit gaya sa isang palabas sa sine kung saan narealize ng mandirigma ang halaga ng kanyang bahagi bago ito sumugod sa digmaan, ang awakening sa akin ay naganap noong kinagabihan rin ng aming briefing.

Kasama ang trainer, inaya kami ng boss sa isang munting bonding matapos ang briefing ng mga tiga night shift. Na-tiyempo lang ang aking pagsama sapagkat noong nalaman ko na uuwi mag-isa ang trainer, nagpasya akong hintayin siya't ihatid sa kanilang bahay.

Sino bang anak-anakan ang hahayaan ang kanyang nanay-nanayan na umuwi mag-isa ng madaling araw?

Sa inuman, silang dalawa ang nagkwentuhan samantalang ako naman ay tahimik na nakinig sa kanilang usapan. Marami akong nalaman, na bilang isang hamak na empleyado ay hindi na dapat marinig pa. Ngunit noong gabing iyon, ipinaramdam nila sa akin kung gaano ako kahalaga sa kumpanya. Bilang isa sa mga pioneer, na-realize ko na malaki ang gagampanan kong role para sa ikatatagumpay ng account.

Nawala ang takot sa akin matapos ang aming inuman. Ito ay napalitan ng determinasyon na ibigay ang lahat para sa aming boss at sa aking nanay-nanayan na naniniwala sa aking kakayahan.

The monthly client call pushed through last night. Three months after the promotion and it remains the most dreaded part of my job. Why I find it so difficult to express myself is a problem beyond explanation. This phenomenon never happens when speaking to foreigners in a bar, or out in the streets, or when I meet them somewhere I find myself in.

The mind switches off when its time to raise a point. Doubts dismember the steady train of thoughts. Confidence compromised; every answer becomes a whimper. Fear stutters the voice. The tone gloomier than a stormy night. That's how I am in front of the clients. The eloquence I reveal in worded correspondence is lost in oral transliterations.

I once thought resolution could be gained when I hurl myself in the call centers. I did submit my resume once, and the synthetic performance was applauded by the human resources. Confidence was gained and this new-found boldness was enough to hide the incompetence I made.

I survived.

Long enough to rethink of my career direction.

It might take a long time before my expression could be liberated. As long as I remain a shadow of my mentor, there's no hope I would dare speak on my own. False humility would get me nowhere, but despite the leaps I did and the time I have given up to make things work, I still feel unfit for the position.

Pardon for being born a zealot but when perfection could not be achieved, frustration drives me to perform horribly. That's what I always think during client calls. If only I could sink beneath my chair never to emerge until the conversation is over,

I would.

But the boss thinks otherwise.

"You're performing well J." I would like to believe it was given as a token of encouragement. But the truth is, I am capable to perform more tasks than some people at work. I am their first hybrid.

Going home at past midnight, it suddenly crossed my mind how our beginnings were conceived and how far we've come.

History best speaks when life gets stuck at the forks.

Reading a part of the entry at a time the account was given, a grain of truth may be found in the boss' tender words

for I remember now what was written before:

Vision never lied when I foresaw the enormity of the new account. I was handpicked to become the center's front liner despite my secret hesitations. Years have passed and the account has now multiplied. If nurtured and taken cared by the centre, it may become the promise it once was - the bread and butter of the company.

Past forward into the near future. Who knows, the universe might be actually conspiring to grant fate's aspiration. I may still bear doubts at the moment.

But who knows.

Maybe there's a reason the front liner has become the client liaison.

Monday, January 11, 2010

For The Rookies

How many blog entries have you written so far? Guess no one will bother to count. Not even you. You have spilled so many words and told so many chapters of your life that your book has become an open secret in this part of the world. For what reasons? A higher calling? A desire to connect? A need to share this eternal longing to be heard because talking in real life would never get you anywhere? You have left a history so consistent, its easy for your life to get annotated. And the strange thing is, the trail left by your quiet passing is like a jet engine plume on a clear blue sky. You might be soaring over the horizon, but we still see where you came from.

Once you were asked, what do you get from blogging. The answer was as familiar as your heartbeat and your pulse can never hide the truth. Eight years into blogging and boy, your writing has improved!

Lao Tzu said a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Part of my blog journey - our journey - began with an entry I re-posted below.


Your old voice


Besides, I've known long before how free it is to say everything in your journal. After all, it's my own space and no one can tell me what to write or what not to write here. That is why I was quite hesitant at first to use this piece of technology. I know, I may never come out of this place anymore...

But things change and priorities change. Surely when the mad rush is over, people would start talking where they could expect a response. People (who are not aware of my presence here) would still continue to post in the thread (Pinoyexchange), sharing their fears and sentiments there (which I would surely take time to respond to.)

In the long course of time, one by one, we might abandon this space for the sake of the previous one we have. Blog is like a little "secret" sanctuary where you can express everything without many people noticing it. Someday, they would understand. Someday, they would have the urge to talk back to a real person, rather than talk to themselves.

Blog Addict
February 29, 2004,
Fullmetal Dreams

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lacson After Dark

The Royal Pontifical University
Circa 2001

Legend has it that when the last of the classes inside the campus are dismissed, the unlit stretches of Lacson Boulevard and its side streets come to life. Of course, one would get tempted to say "It's normal. After all, students are rushing to leave so they litter the streets, have a small talk about the day's events until time would send them to their homes and dormitories." What I am saying are the spectacles that happen after midnight. When most people lie peacefully in their beds, its when the creatures of the night emerges.

We heard stories of young men spotted strolling at wee hours of the night. They wear jerseys or wife beaters and shrouds their faces with baseball caps. Many of them lay hidden in the dark until someone approaches and proposes his trade. It was the age before chatting went mainstream: the age when most non-straight guys stay under the radar and effeminate men masquerading as bisexuals were on the scene: It was the age when safer sex was unheard of and people crafted ways to let others know of their preference. It was my age of confusion and being a curious young guy who've heard stories of men searching for men for company, I too explored these places hoping to make contact.

An age gives way to another. A discovery has never been made.

Years have passed and the legend stayed like a nearly forgotten tale needing an epilogue. I have gone through different mediums of contact: MIRc, Malate, Online Forums, Gay Networking Websites and the list goes on. Yet, the whispers about the strange encounters at Lacson after midnight remain elusive as it has always been since the first night I went cruising there.

Until I found what I'm looking for only last night.

Pasado hatinggabi. Hinatid ko sa bahay si Rain Darwin. Galing kami sa inuman ng mga Engkanto. Dahil nakatira ang aking tropa sa area, hindi maiiwasan ang maglakad sa A.H. Lacson. Nag-iintay rin ako ng text message mula kay Kane upang maki-gate crash sa isang party na kanyang pinuntahan. Dahil wala na rin akong pera ay kinailangan kong mag-withdraw sa BPI sa kanto ng Espana. Madilim ang paligid at mangilan-ngilan lang ang mga tao. Ang kapansin-pansin ay ang mga nakatambay na kalalakihan na tila may iniintay. Karamihan sa kanila ay mga bata. Nakapambahay ang damit at matatalas ang tingin kapag iyong ito'y pagmamasdan. Ang kanilang mga titig ay may mensahe. Nakikiramdam. Maraming taon na ang nakaraan at tiyak na hindi ko ito bibigyang pansin.

Subalit dahil palaban na ako gaya nila. Hindi malayo sa akin ang makipagtrip.

Ilang buwan ang nakalipas nang may nangyari sa amin ni Da Hood Kid. Nagsimula ang lahat sa pagpapalitan ng tingin malapit sa bahay namin. Ang titigan ay nauwi sa kanyang pagsipol at ang kanyang pagsipol - na aking sinundan - ay nauwi sa kuwentuhan. Ang kuwentuhan ay nauwi sa pisilan ng mga kargada at ang pisilan ay nauwi sa aking kama. Yun ang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na pumatol ako sa isang taong nakilala lang sa daan.

Try it once and you will never fear trying it again.

The stares were all too common. I trade gazes to let them know their codes were decrypted. There were the catcalls and the stand-offs - separated by mere meters between prey and predator. I am too old to play this game and it is something I don't want to be the story ending of the week. I found the legend only to brush it aside when the plot has become predictable to many.

"D bale na lang. Dami tripper sa loc ko. Myt as well go home. Sensya na" I texted Kane.

Preferring the comforts of a familiar terrain, I went straight to the gay streets of Malate to spend the rest of the night dancing in my playground.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


The Kellogg accusation was heard all over the house when it came out of my mouth. What was shameful about the careless talk was it was within an earshot's distance from the utol. I was not informed she had arrived. Guilty of being insensitive, I finally admitted the rift that had come between us. There was no missing on my part - only spite, and relief that our mother wouldn't worry about the utol's whereabouts anymore.

Everyone heard what I said. I was lucky nobody paid attention. It was the painful truth. Even the utol was guilty of the verdict. Had it turn into a verbal clash, one would probably leave the house. It didn't turn into one, yet I resolved to go out just to get the guilt and pain off my chest.

But the bed was too tempting. I fell asleep the first minute I laid down my exhausted body.

The Iron Curtain now divides the two rooms inside the house. Nobody wants to talk and I resolve not to speak as well. This is how I will express my dismay over the utol's actions. Despite the harsh foreign policy I plan to impose, the United Nations still, is very pleased with my resolution not to go out tonight.

Hi anak. 2log knb? Mrming slmat n dkn lumbas. Srap feeling n d2 lhat tau s bhay 2nyt. Feeling ko am realy home. Gudnyt. I luv u so veri much. Sana ngus2han mo peanut buter at tnpay n bli ko sau. My mamon pa.

This is how the stand off ends.

Friday, January 8, 2010


"Bumibili ka ng Kellogs eh ang umuubos lang naman eh yung anak mong walang trabaho."

I spoke too early about having no burdens to carry around. Now you know there is. This is the reason for my sour mood and suicidal tendencies when it mattered my job. This is the answer for being aloof from everyone these days.

The utol returns home this evening from God knows where. She was out of the house for almost a week. I've heard she was with her Maoist groupies telling fiction that nobody really cares. I can't help but feel sorry for those losers who buy their stories. Imagine, parents selling their souls to put their kids to college. And then these kids, for one reason or another listen to anything that is new - including utol's gospel of a new society. I'm too old for their shit so I don't give a damn. Mother - in her saintly capacity to exercise tolerance - have her blessing to do what the utol pleases. While ours, having grown too cold and distant, felt like being estranged siblings.

I try my best to understand. I would love to mimic my mom's pacifist stance but with my savings hanging by a thread, and with my life slowly being snuffed by pressures from the world, you can't help but feel resentful of the privileges she gets.

It's like she doesn't care at all.

Ranting would not get me anywhere nor showing open hostility when things are already tense. If only she would realize the needs of home over everything else. If only she would think what life would be should fate take me out of the picture. If only she would come to her senses and understand the bigger responsibilities looking after our own blood,

Then this rift would never happen.

The plan was to get as much rest before the week-long toil begins. The mind and the body could not afford another trip in the open. But changes have to be made in the retinue. Much as I would like to patch this rift in the comforts of sleep, our cramped space is not enough for coexistence.

Thus, there is one option left.

I will find solace in the cold and uncaring arms of the night.

Dusk and Summer

Hoping you recall the first time. The first time my graphic works went online. I found a whole cache of it. I found it hidden in one of the Powerpoint presentations I toyed a long time ago. Thought these creations were gone forever. I resigned to the idea it never survived the journey from one disk to another. It was almost impossible to know. The file must have endured the countless software reformat over the years. The viruses assaulting the desktop nearly corrupted my data. And yet these images were preserved: the sum of my juvenile imagination looking back at me.

Ciudad Espiero

Each picture conveys emotion. Like a prologue and an epilogue, the scenes were beyond a story. The abstract was drawn from a vision. How I was able to turn it into an art form, I am lost for words. What I do remember was the purpose: The desire to put order to a troubled age between boys and men. Imagination liberates. Everything was a source of inspiration: The mountain. The sun. The explosion of colors in the sky.

The demarcation between night and day.


How I wish life has better playback features. For these portraits now echo moments I wish to remember. In the twilight of my youth, I learned to tell my days with otherworldly landscapes. Sifting through these images, I wonder, would I still be able to recreate these art, or was it just a phase of expression bound to never be discovered again?


3D Modelling was possible using Bryce 2.0

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


After Mister T.

Remember dude. We have our limits.
Someday, you will cross beyond your threshold

Do you want to know what I'm feeling right now?

It's rage. It's some kind of implosion in my heart. You have pushed me too far this time. You have almost taken out all my sanity. You know what, I think they are right. Maybe I'm being too kind to you. I think I deserve someone else. Maybe I've been so understanding that you can't see the truth that I have my own needs as well; That you can't appreciate how I try to uphold a commitment which is almost nonexistent as of this moment. Would you like to know how trapped I am right now? I want to be hugged, I want to be kissed, I want to be taken care of. You have put me in a situation where there's no recourse but spell my own destruction. You have successfully triggered bitterness and its now commanding my confused thoughts. Good thing, nobody has ever discovered me yet cause you know what, I'm really seriously thinking of accepting someone else's offer just to break free. Do you still think about us? I doubt. You're too busy with your self that you have put me again at the back seat.

I'm getting tired you know that? I'm really really tired. I am just considering your situation that's why I don't want to strike back. But you know what, I already did! I hope my message comes across and I hope you take it seriously. I warn you, it might be the beginning of an open war between us. If you don't give me a better deal, what's the point of staying longer? I've been asking my heart what I feel, and you know what, it doesn't really have the answer...

... it only beats confusion and fear.

I'm tired and weary. You must shape up or else...

Post written in my old blog. Like everyone who loved and lost, I too had my days of discontent. This entry sowed the seeds of bitterness. Two years and several months after this venting, I found the courage to announce to the universe

I am free.

May 31 2006
War of Words (Just Thinking Out Aloud Session Two)
Fullmetal Dreams

Nocturnal Infiltration

I used to dream of good stuff. Scenes were always in technicolor - like in movies shown on big theaters. The sky was always a palette of blue, orange and yellow - like daybreaks on a cloudless dusky afternoon. I often saw myself on top of a hill looking at the vast plains below. No wonder, I enjoy high places staring at the horizon. When there were no hills in sight, eyes cast their gaze over anything that would let me savor wide open spaces: endless fields, a forests of evergreens, a sleepy cityscape in the distance. Everything was at peace.

Nightmares were not so different. I dream of dead bodies. Scores of them. There's a trip to the morgue or the anatomy lab - with my eyes closed of course when passing through the aisles; The march of metallic stretchers with bodies sheathed in white; loved ones, who had long gone suddenly dropping by for a small talk.

These were normal occurrences - in my sleep - until some kind of dreaded scenes started infiltrating my dreams.

Rain Darwin once said that when he used to be a salaried guy, he did dream about his work. His was a life under constant pressure. He had to give up his personal freedom to become a slave of his workforce.

Until he decided to liberate himself from the corporate world.

Passion runs high in my blood. Responsibility and order go on top of my list. My supervisor said I should never let my job ruin my life. But with how things are going, and my ever growing desire to run the campaign as smooth (to the point of redundancy) as possible, a slice of my thoughts never let go of work.

That's why my only breathers at the moment are the gym and the writing. Sleep is a luxury that is becoming more expensive these days.

I see faces and hear voices (perhaps of our Argentine clients) whenever I stay away from work for long periods. My creative juices go towards finding ways to make the agents' job less stressful and more enjoyable. Their whims get satisfied whenever I floorwalk. I get rattled easily by my irate supervisor, and in turn, her ranting goes all the way into the deepest consciousness in my head. All these portents I tried to brush off before. But with the training still in full swing, and with my first one on the bigger fray ending in a near disaster this morning, its no surprise that when I closed my eyes to get some rest this evening, the first person who knocked me back to wakefulness was none other but the faces and the voices and the training that is set for tomorrow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Battle Plan

Meeting with the boss has just been concluded. The battle plan was approved and ready for execution. Four agents chosen by the management will be pulled out of their regular account. They will undergo immediate training tomorrow morning. It will be a lightning briefing, the kind, citizens receive when the very existence of a sovereign nation is under threat. Resources will be mobilized. Every function of the training department will be put into use. The goal is to have these agents equipped to handle the account before the week ends. Same system goes for agents in the other shifts. Software are being downloaded. Hardware, if needed, will be upgraded. Since I will be part of the blitz tomorrow. Pray that the Cobra Energy drink jacks enough adrenalin to keep me running until the campaign is over.

And when my confidence is restored.
That's when emissaries begin their journey to other worlds.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Words have no meaning when it can never be backed by action.

Keeping this in mind, you never profess missing someone then tell that person seeing your common friends over for dinner. You never share such story when you have never invited that person in the first place. Others may find it insensitive. I would see it as something ridiculous. There's no point in missing. What for? I don't see any connection.

People would never hear me say I miss them because when I terribly do, I move heaven and earth just to make time and see that person. Not to mention, I thrive in old friendships. Time weight nothing when I put bonds in relationships. Don't worry. No harm done. Its a gentle reminder to clutch your words like holding your own offspring.

Some people hold on to it like its everything that they've got.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Great Turnaround

People are turning their backs to pick up the things they left in childhood, while I, of all the people slipped in and out of contemplation just to chart the direction I would take.

To find my place in life.

Because We Live In The Stone Age

So begins 2010.

Revive the plants in front of the house and turn a part of the compound into an ornamental garden. Relearn to play the Piano and perform Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and Clint Mansell's Together We Live Forever on a cloudless daybreak. Cut down on food binging. Drink more water. Be more driven to go to the gym and drop the body weight to 160 before summer. Read more books. Watch more intelligent movies. Go green. Save fuel by turning off lights when not used. Go green. Cut down on plastics by carrying few things brought from convenience stores with bare hands. Learn to be bold. Worry less of the consequences of errors that were made. Assume responsibility of the household. Never wait for the utol to make a move. Sing more often. You have the voice. Drink less booze. You still dream of showing off your six packs while dancing on top of the ledge. Get in touch with your spirituality. Who cares if you begin to hear voices one day. Find a better-paying job. You deserve more for your effort. Get a license. Your loved ones may depend on your driving skills someday.


You're not getting any younger. Bitterness is beginning to coat the outer layers of your heart.